TRANSCRIBED  BY   STEPHANIE   HITCHCOCK

      FROM THE DERBY & CHESTERFIELD REPORTER   DATED    6.9.1867

THE EXTRAORDINARY ATTEMPT TO MURDER AT BELPER

At a special petty sessions at Belper on Thursday morning, before G. H. Strutt Esq., E Wilmot Esq., and the Hon. A. Strutt, George Needham alias SPENDLOVE, aged 16, was brought up charged with shooting at with 

Intent to murder, Mary Titterton, aged 61, housekeeper to the Rev. L. L. Lloyd, Unitarian Minister, Belper on

Sunday morning the 11th August.Although the police had been most active in trying to trace the prisoner, who absconded after the act, they had been unable to discover his whereabouts, but on Thursday morning his Parents surrendered him into custody. 

It will be recollected that prisoner went to Mr. Lloyd’s house to deliver milk and that he there deliberately discharged a pistol at Mrs. Titterton, the housekeeper, and then de-camped.It is supposed that he has been wandering all over the country since he committed the act, and a few days ago rambled back to his parents in a half-starved state.

Mr. Leech , of Derby, appeared for the accused, and the following evidence was given:-

Mrs. Titterton who still appeared to be suffering from the shock she received to her nervous system, deposed that she was upwards of 61 years of age, and for some time had been housekeeper to the Rev. Mr. Lloyd, Unitarian minister, who resides in King Street, Belper.They were supplied with milk by Mr. Samuel Cooper, of the Dally-Farm, who employed the prisoner to assist him in delivering the milk, morning and evening.On the morning of Sunday the 11the August, the prisoner brought the milk as usual, the basin for the milk being in its usual place, viz: upon a dresser in the kitchen.She saw the boy putting the milk into the basin and being anxious to have a further supply, she washed another basin intending to have a second pint of milk, and whilst so engaged she saw the prisoner take a pistol from out of his pocket.She said “oh dear, what are you doing with that”.He made no reply but turned round, pointed the pistol at her left side and fired it.She said “I am shot” and was very much excited.The prisoner said something but not sufficiently distinct for her to understand.She went into a neighbour’s house on the opposite side of the street, and immediately afterwards was visited by a surgeon, Mr. Johnstone.Whilst she was removing her clothes she took from off her stays two shot-corns, and also some others picked up by Mr. David Ashover.The stays were thickly wadded with cotton, through which the shot penetrated.

By Mr. Leech:I was on friendly terms with the prisoner and had no cause to complain of the manner in which he had previously conducted himself.

By the Bench: On the Sunday morning he rang the bell very violently, of which I told him.

Mr. John Mather said he was a draper, and lived next door but one to Mr. Lloyd.On the morning of the occurrence he was in his father’s house a few yards higher up King Street than Mr. Lloyd’s, and heard the report of fire-arms, and immediately afterwards heard someone say “I’m shot”; the sound proceeded from the direction of Mr. Lloyd’s.He went towards Mr. Lloyds, and then saw Mrs. Titterton outside the yard door.He took hold of her and assisted her into his mother’s house – that he then left his mother’s house and met the 

Prisoner in the middle of the road with the milk can in his hand.He asked him what he had been doing, to which he replied “Don’t tell the master”.He then asked him if there were shot-corns in the pistol, to which he replied that there was nothing in besides powder.Directly afterwards, he saw the prisoner’s master and told him what had taken place, and then went to a surgeon, and afterwards to the police.After his conversation with the prisoner he saw him walk up the street and talk to somebody, whom he believed was Mr. Watson, of the New Inn, to whom he was showing the pistol.He again went up to prisoner and told him that properly he ought to take him into custody, to which he made no reply.

Mr. Johnson, surgeon, Belper said he found five distinct slight abrasions of the skin, the place being inflamed and blackened.The shot-corns were all removed before he got there.In his opinion shot-corns fired from a pistol would produce the wounds he saw upon Mrs. Titterton’s arms and body.

David Ashover, of Belper, on being sworn, stated that about half-past nine on the morning of the occurrence he went to Mr. Lloyd’s house and saw Mrs. Titterton, who seemed very excited, and by her was told she had been shot, and said her side pained her.I advised her to undress, when I picked from off the carpet where she stood eight or ten shot-corns; I also took two shot-corns out of a glass, upon which I noticed blood.I also found upon the kitchen floor other shot-corns and a piece of paper, the whole of which I gave to Superintendent Shawe.

Sarah Wardle stated that she was an assistant to Mr. Brown, draper, King Street, Belper, and resided near to Mr. Lloyd’s home.About half-past nine in the morning of Sunday the 11th August, she was getting her breakfast when the prisoner brought the milk – that she saw him place something under the door-mat, and after he was gone she looked under the mat and saw a pistol.She went to the top of the stairs, and whilst there prisoner returned, took something from under the mat and went away.

Mr. William Cantrell, druggist, Bridge Street, Belper, proved that on Thursday the 8th August, the prisoner bought a pistol of him for 1s. 6d; on the following Saturday he sold him a quantity of shot, powder and caps.The pistol he sold the prisoner was in good order.The shot produced by Mr. Shawe was of the same size he sold to the prisoner.

Sarah Waterfall, residing in Field Lane, Belper, testified that on the Sunday morning in question the prisoner brought milk to her home as usual.He took a pistol out of his pocket, and threatened to shoot a little boy who was in her house.She thought he pointed the same at the boy and fired.It did not make much noise, and she did not find any bullet or shot-corns, nor did she any marks upon the boy.The prisoner left her house immediately after.

Mr. Superintendent Shawe, of belper, produed 18 shot-corns, which he had received from Mr. David Ashover, on the morning of the occurrence.There was blood upon some of them.He received a letter from the prisoner’s solicitor, Mr. Leech, informing him that he would voluntarily surrender himself, and he had done so.

This was the whole of the evidence, and the depositions having been read over, the prisoner was committed to take his trial at the next Quarter Sessions for unlawfully and maliciously wounding – Mr. Leech applied for bail, which was refused.